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Working smarter as a creative firm

Written by Val Sopi on Thursday, July 07, 2016


Clay hands potery

Photo by Lubos Houska

Business owners in creative firms are always looking for ways to have their teams work better and be more productive.

Productivity is great. It means you are producing. But, people are not machines.

A machine can produce more if you make it faster and tweak it a bit.

We, mortal humans, have a limit.

The key is being more effective while you are producing.

How it usually works

In creative firms, managers, creative directors, and owners, are always shuffling employees to various projects and tasks, just so their time is billable.

This leads to burn out.

Producing creative work takes mental effort. The more you do, the less effective you will become.

The solution

The solution to all this is having a dedicated team work on a single project. It sounds fairly simple and having it work to your advantage is quite easy.

What this means is that at times, team-members will be sitting around waiting for client feedback. Which leads to account managers wanting more from the client (read: rushing the client for feedback). Which leads (#2) to the project being completed faster.

Sounds great, right? It is!

Lets say you’re working on a new web project for a big travel agency.

Specific profiles on your team are:

  • Writer/Content
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Front-end developer
  • Back-end Developer
  • Project manager/creative director
  • Account/client manager

What you must bear in mind is that once someone starts on the project they cannot jump to something else until they are done.

I say this, because I’ve seen it happen many times (ahem, guilty as charged). A designer is brought into the project, the client delays their feedback, the designer jumps to an unrelated project and comes back again. This produces sub-par results, and frustrates everyone involved.

How it works

The way the team from above would work is this..

  1. PM, writer, and designer meet up with the client and start drawing up ideas. In the next months or so the design is finalized and approved.
  2. The designer leaves the project, front-end and PM take over to get it ready for development. The back-end developer starts in the mean time.
  3. Next, the front-end dev slowly leaves / back-end is left with the PM to complete the project.
  4. Designer + front-end can only be consulted at this point, but not actively involved. They are already in a different project.

This is one of the many situations on how it would work.

Read next: What in the world is Studio Managerâ„¢?


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